By April 2018, local authorities must have transferred all children and young people with Statements of Special Educational Needs to the new SEN and disability system.
In accordance with the ‘Transition to the new 0-25 special educational needs and disabilities system’ published by the Department of Education in March 2015, every Local Authority must publish a local transition plan which clearly sets out its intentions and arrangements for transferring Statements of Special Educational Needs to Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and how young people who are currently supported through a Learning Disabilities Assessment (LDA) and who will remain in education or training during the transition period can request an Education, Health and Care needs assessment.
The Transfer Review (EHC Assessment) process
It is important to note that until the Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) is completed, the Local Authority will remain under a duty to maintain the Statement of Special Educational Needs and to review the Statement at least annually to ensure that the provision within the Statement continues to meet the needs of the child/young person.
The Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) meeting will replace the Annual Review meeting. The meeting will provide a bespoke opportunity for children, young people and their families to have their say about their needs, their hopes, dreams and ambitions and how they can be supported to achieve their best possible outcomes. The families or young person can invite whoever they wish to attend the meeting. The meeting may also be attended by a Local Authority representative.
At the beginning of each term the Local Authority will contact all educational settings and provide a list of all children and young people who are due to have an Annual Review meeting or a Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) meeting.
If an Annual Review meeting is required, then this will be arranged as usual. The paperwork to record the meeting has changed in order to give more opportunities for the views to be recorded, however, the process and timescales for the meeting remain the same.
If a Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) meeting is required, then the LA will request that educational settings work with young people and families to arrange a Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) meeting at mutually convenient time. Once the date has been verbally agreed the LA must write to the young person/ the parents/guardians and the educational setting two weeks before the meeting confirming the time and venue. The educational setting will liaise with the young person/the parents/guardians to send out invites to everyone the young person/ the family would like to attend.
The purpose of the Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) meeting is:
- to review progress
- to review provision
- to gather any additional information or evidence that either contributes to or informs the detail of the Education, Health and Care Plan
- to seek the views of all attendees
The views of all attendees will be recorded and will directly inform the contents of the plan. The meeting will vary depending on the age/key stage of the child or young person. If the child or young person is in year 9 or above the Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) will focus on moving into adulthood. There is separate Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) paperwork for pupils in year 8 and below, year 9 Suffolk County Council’s Local Transition Plan Page 4 of 8 and above in order to accommodate the specific requirements in the Transition Guidance. The educational establishment must send the Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) report to the Local Authority within two weeks of the meeting.
If it is not possible for the LA to attend the Transfer Review (EHC Assessment) meeting, young people/parents/guardians will be offered an additional meeting with the LA. The purpose of this meeting is to share their views and to discuss the Transfer Review (EHC Assessment) report received from the school. The meeting will take place within the 20 week transfer period and prior to the EHCP begin finalised.
The Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) meeting should gather and have access to sufficient information to enable the LA to write a draft Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) and to issue the draft plan to parents/young people for consultation, however there may be occasions when additional advice needs to be sought from involved professionals. The Local Authority must finalise an EHCP, where one is needed, within 20 weeks of the Transfer Review (EHC Needs Assessment) meeting.